drupal with active directory (ldap)

Getting drupal authenticating logins against active directory can be intimidating, at first. I certainly felt that way.

A few hints

  • You will need PHP installed with the ldap extension. Use phpinfo(); to check if it's there. Without that you can't even begin.

Web development languages in use in NZ


Today I ran a poll on the NZWEBDEV email list, and asked members to indicate which server side languages they regularly use in their work.

Results are below but you'll need to click on the image for a legible version.


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drupal: inserting flash content (youtube videos) fails to display in IE

One of the drupal web sites I work on had a problem where any youtube video that was posted to the site failed to display on internet explorer. Any other browser worked fine.

The code we were trying to insert was this: Read more

theming just one node in drupal

Drupal's theming system uses file names to decide which theme to apply to whatever page the visitor is asking for. So  page-front.tpl.php is the front page, block-footer.tpl.php is any block in the footer, page-node-10.tpl is the page that contains node 10, etc etc

However, out of the box, there is no way to theme just one node. You can't go node-1.tpl.php and expect node 1 to be themed. To get around this, add the following to your theme's template.php

function phptemplate_preprocess_node(&$vars, $hook) {
  $node = $vars['node'];
 Read more

rails error: IOError: Couldn’t load the unicode tables for UTF8Handler (dump format error(0xb))


Argh I can't believe how long it took for me to track this one down. No one else on the internet had reported the problem before, so trusty ole google was no help. So I'm putting this one out there, to help others.

This error is caused when a file vendor/rails/activesupport/lib/active_support/values/unicode_tables.dat becomes corrupted. The easiest way that can happen is if while using FTP to upload your Rails app onto it's server, you are uploading the entire vendor/rails directory in ASCII mode. unicode_tables.dat contains binary data, which gets mangled when you upload using ASCII. Read more



FreelanceSOS is a web site where freelancers can go to find work, and project managers can find freelancers to do work. Read more

Te Papa - ourspace exhibition


Ourspace is a new exhibit at Te Papa. It's a multimedia space where people can manipulate images, text and video on a 18 meter long wall (screen). The media they manipulate can be created at the exhibit or uploaded beforehand through the web site. Read more

asp.net: huge difference between DataView.Table and DataView.ToTable

Both DataView.Table and DataView.ToTable return a DataTable from a DataView. The difference is that .Table gives you the underlying data, with no changes from the dataview's sorting or filtering. ToTable on the other hand, gives you the data in the dataview after filtering and sorting!

This is the sort of thing I've come to expect from PHP; similarly named methods that actually do quite different things, and/or inconsistently named methods which do opposite things.

ruby gotcha: exec command


Surprisingly small amount of documentation on the net about this....

When using the exec command, don't expect any of your ruby code after it to execute! This is because the command you run using exec replaces the currently executing script!

Use the system command instead, or the `` trick

automatic iframe height


I've been forced to use an iframe in an app I'm developing, for long and boring reasons.

One of the perennial problems that iframes presented was that their height needs to be specified upfront, and if the content within turned out to be too long then too bad; a nasty scroll bar would appear in the middle of the screen.

I spent hours googling for javascript hacks to dynamically resize the iframe, but in the end Tim Gummer pointed me to the good stuff. I was up and running in 15 minutes.

Dynamic height

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